A fast-loading website can make or break your business. There are a variety of steps you can take to speed up your loading times, but it’s important not to neglect web caching. This is a vital strategy for improving page speed, but it’s only effective if you use the right type.
There are several types of web cache, each of which is useful in different circumstances. It’s important to understand the kinds of data they store, as well as the levels of control they offer to you and end-users.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of web caching. We’ll then look at four different types of web cache, when to use them, and how to set them up. Let’s get started!
Understanding the importance of web caching
When a visitor lands on your website, their browser requests data from your site’s server. They then have to wait for the server to return the necessary data before they can view your content.
A web cache is website data a computer has stored temporarily for fast and easy future access. Without web caching in place, browsers have to send new requests every time visitors arrive on your site. If your content has been cached, your server or visitors’ browsers can send a static copy of your content instead.
This reduces the number of requests sent to your server, which take longer to process than cached responses. This is the primary purpose of caching and how it can increase page speed.
While boosting loading speeds is important, caching also reduces network costs. It is possible to cache your website content at different points between users’ browsers and your server. When cached closer to users, your site’s data does not use as many resources. This reduces the impact on your server and could save you money on network costs.
4 types of web cache (and when to use them)
There are various points within your website network where you can cache data. To make the most of them, there are four different types of web caching you might consider using. Here’s a rundown of each.
1. Site cache
A site cache or page cache stores website data the first time a webpage is loaded. Each time a user returns to your website, saved elements are quickly accessed and displayed to visitors.
This is a type of client-side caching, which means that all the stored elements are controlled by the end-user. As a website owner, the only say you have is how long content remains in the cache.
If a page has elements that never change, you can set the cache expiration date far into the future. However, elements that change regularly should have shorter expiration periods so they’re periodically refreshed. Otherwise, your site will continue to display outdated content to users loading it from their site caches, even after you’ve published updates.
For this reason, site caching is ideal for websites with a lot of static content. Since your site rarely changes, users will be able to continue loading your pages quickly while still seeing the
This article was written by Will Morris and originally published on ManageWP.